The Strategic Defense Initiative: Symbolic Containment of the Nuclear Threat

The Strategic Defense Initiative: Symbolic Containment of the Nuclear Threat

by Rebecca S. Bjork
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791411621

ISBN-13: 9780791411629

Pub. Date: 01/28/1992

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Through an analysis of the language and persuasive strategies used by the Reagan and Bush administrations in selling the SDI program to the Congress and the American public, Bjork takes a fresh approach to the study of U.S. foreign policy. She focuses on the shared meanings and understandings of policy as they are created through sociocultural interaction. Using

Overview

Through an analysis of the language and persuasive strategies used by the Reagan and Bush administrations in selling the SDI program to the Congress and the American public, Bjork takes a fresh approach to the study of U.S. foreign policy. She focuses on the shared meanings and understandings of policy as they are created through sociocultural interaction. Using Kenneth Burke’s philosophy and critical method of dramatism as a theoretical framework, she shows how Reagan’s SDI program appealed symbolically to a nostalgic sense of American history, replete with powerful images of American innocence and technological ingenuity in the face of difficult obstacles. Bjork concludes that the program has been shielded from criticism, has achieved symbolic and bureaucratic momentum, and serves to reinforce the isolation felt by ordinary American citizens from access to decisions over life and death issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791411629
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
01/28/1992
Series:
SUNY Series in The Making of Foreign Policy: Theories and Issues Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
182

Table of Contents

Preface

1. Toward a Rhetorical Understanding of SDI

2. Innocence and Destiny in American Foreign Policy

3. Rhetorical Challenges to the Arms Race

4. The Symbolic Power of SDI

5. The "New World Order" and SDI

6. Public Debate in an Age of Strategic Defense

Notes

Works Cited

Index

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